Wrestlers from fourteen member states of the sub-region are expected to be in a competitive mood when the 8th edition of the ECOWAS Traditional Wrestling Tournament holds in Dakar, Senegal from the 12th to the 14th of May 2017 the released from ECOWAS Bureau in Nigeria informed.
The tournament is an initiative of the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC) geared towards the realization of the Commission's vision of moving ECOWAS from a Community of States to a Community of People by promoting peace, unity and social integration in the region through traditional sports
The wrestlers will be competing for both individual and team honors in five different weight categories under standard officiating practices with the support of officials of the ECOWAS Commission and the EYSDC.
As part of the preparations for a hitch free and quality tournament, twelve traditional wrestling referees and officials drawn from member states of the community, are presently undergoing practical refresher training in Dakar. The three-day training is aimed at improving their knowledge and application of the rules and regulations governing African traditional wrestling, drafted by the EYSDC and which has been used in all the previous editions of the tournament.
Other innovations scheduled to be held during the tournament, include a one-day workshop on 'the effects of doping in sports' and 'sports as a factor of regional economic integration'. The workshop is organized in collaboration with the Senegalese Ministry in charge of Sports and the host country's National Committee for the Management of Wrestling, CNGL.
It will be recalled that following counci's recommendation, the heads of state and governments of the community in November 1986, adopted African Traditional Wrestling as the official sport of the community.
Based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the EYSDC was established to provide a permanent institutional framework within ECOWAS through which issues related to youth and sports activities in the sub-region can be developed and promoted.
"To this end it is mandated to initiate, develop, coordinate and implement youth and sports programmes within the community, with the aim of promoting peace, unity and cohesion among ECOWAS Member States through sports and youth development," said ECOWAS in a press released sent to Observer Sports Desk.